the environment…

…on and around our farm…

rich nature…

Most natural features one can find elsewhere in Norway, seem to have been replicated in this southern part – on a smaller scale.

Low but steep mountains, smooth or rocky hilltops, woods, rivers and lakes … they're either on our farm or near by. Clean air … well, if there is such a thing as “clean air” left in the world, then we've got our fair share of that too.

We live in a somewhat secluded area in the hills, where farming and other uses of natural resources have been the way of life for ages. Half a dozen families in our little community now, and, at least for the time being, 3 dairy farms with a total of nearly 100 cattle.

Extending the range a few kilometers in any direction in these hills, includes a number of small communities and farms.

Many of the smaller farms are not active anymore, although much of the land cultivated by earlier generations is kept up one way or another. Active farmers renting more farm-land, is one way.

We're situated between a coastal town and some larger inland communities, and these hills contain most of the water resources for the communities below.

The need for clean water below has put restrictions on farming in these hills for many decades, but none that affect our farm all that much. Thus, our cattle can make full use of the natural resources on our farm, and they do.

life in the hills…

The many small communities around in these hills won't grow very fast in the near future, since there are restrictions on large parts of the area. No stagnation though, as sensible home-building projects are not entirely prohibited and what's already here is mostly kept in good order.

With short distances to surrounding town and communities – 5 to 15 minutes by car in any direction, we got the best of two worlds. It's quiet up here, and all services the modern world has to offer are near by.

As is the law everywhere in Norway, anyone can roam around in these hills as long as they respect cultivated land, private property and privacy – and of course also pay attention to laws and regulations regarding water sources. The area is crisscrossed by old and new roads and paths, making most of it fairly accessible. Some use it, but we still have plenty of views and fresh air to share.

Local authorities are, naturally enough, focusing on other, more populated, areas, and if they're doing anything at all up here in the hills then it's usually not doing us who live here much good. That's ok, as we're quite capable of doing what needs to be done ourselves, and also apply damage-control when necessary.

pollution – like everywhere else…

These hills are slowly becoming overgrown wood and brush land, partly because farmers don't use much of the non-cultivated land for grazing and brush-clearing livestock anymore, but mostly because more and more unwanted nutrients are raining down on us and make the mostly useless and unwanted brush grow like crazy.

Woods of fast-growing pinetrees have also been planted many decades ago, and these woods are to a large degree ignored today since it hardly pays to get in there and have the trees cut down – clear signs of failed planning by earlier generations if you ask me.

Pinewoods covering the hilltops and filling the valleys, may look nice “from a distance”, but nothing of value grows in their shadow. As a consequence: we may end up living in an overgrown but really pretty barren and unproductive landscape in the future, and have difficulties seeing any real Norwegian nature for all the trees.

I have seen too much of overgrown countryside elsewhere to have any positive thoughts about such a future here. The Norwegian countryside was naturally open only a few decades ago, and had been so since the last Ice Age. Now we may need another Ice Age in order to clear it up.

After decades of pouring nutrients into the soil – most originating in factories in the UK and Central Europe and brought into the northerly windstreams where it falls down with the rain around our mountains – most trees are growing too fast to be of much use even as firewood.

Much of the wood is simply left to rot – recycled in situ, which isn't such a bad thing really. Generates more soil for collecting increasing amounts of pollution, and more areas for at least certain types of insects and wildlife.

Solid Norwegian granite and patches of cultivated land, still manage to keep the landscape somewhat open in these hills. I'm afraid that's only temporary though, as it is difficult to cultivate the problem of excessive nutrients away for long, and even granite gets covered over time.

Our own farm animals do some voluntary brush clearing while they're out there grazing anyway, and we give them a helping hand now and then. However, this is only locally, and hardly enough to make much of a difference. It doesn't hurt though.

we choose to live here…

For whatever reason: this is where we choose to live and work, and despite having numerous choices we see no reason to move elsewhere. I guess that says something about our view on our local environment.

Yes, we definitely like it here, and hope to be able to enjoy life in these tranquil, yet constantly changing and sometimes challenging, surroundings for many, many, years to come.

sincerely  georg; sign

Hageland 30.oct.2007
last rev: 08.oct.2012

the environment…

overlooking the farm

It is nice to be able to spend ones life in this natural and cultivated garden.
— Georg

We live a few kilometers in from the coast, near the southern tip of Norway.
— Georg

farm views…
 New life is born every year.   Green pastures screened by woods.  Colorful nature right on our doorstep.   Beautiful autumn colors.   Rivers and lakes.   Sun and clouds create lightshows.   Wonderfully quiet winter-scenes. 
sceneries in the neighborhood…
 Mountain rizing vertically from a lake.   A giants kettle.   View from a mountain top.   View from a mountain top.   View from a mountain top. 

farming…
…2000 - 2012